The Breckenridge Bolts Wrapped up their home games this season vs the Colorado Thunderbirds before heading out on the road for their final games of the regular season and then onto playoffs.
The Bolts wasted no time at the beginning of the game on friday as Jack Rousseau put the Bolts up early on a goal assisted by Hunter Havice and Sean Costello. The lead would be short lived as the Thunderbirds were the beneficiary of a poor bounce off of 2 Bolts defenders before Aarond Dobbs poked the puck into an empty net past Bolts goalie Graisen Eatchel. Merely 3 minutes later the Thunderbirds would score again as Eric Wilson grabbed a loose puck and beat Eatchel as he searched for the puck through a mess of players. The Thunderbirds weren't done yet and Levi Clemenson carried the puck in on a rush and wired a shot short side past Eatchel just under the cross bar.
This goal prompted the Bolts to make a goaltending change as they replaced Eatchel with All-Star selection Declan Rooney perhaps for the purpose of a momentum change. The replacement seemed to have the desired effect as Tanner Caladarola brought the bolts within 1 assisted by Sean Gurlea.
The Second period featured the Thunderbirds regaining the 2 goal lead as Brandon Fitzsimmons tallied for the Thunderbirds a mere 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the period. After missing several opportunities including a great save by Thunderbirds goalie Stalcup Zach Booth finally broke through for the bolts again as Hunter Havice found him on the back door all alone. The Thunderbirds would regain the 2 goal lead one more time on the power play as Sean deKramer scored on the power play for the Thunderbirds assisted by Mason Akers.
From that point on it would be all Bolts, Bolts leading scorer Luke Marsh won a faceoff back to Dan Risch who poked it back to Marsh who then found Ben Carlson all alone in the slot who fired to bring the bolts back to within 1. Tanner Caldarola would then tie the game at even strength with just over half a minute remaining in the first period to send the teams into the locker room for the second intermission tied at 5 apiece.
6 minutes into the 3rd period with the Thunderbirds killing a double minor power play Zach Booth collected a deflected puck in the slot and wired a shot past Stalup to give the Bolts a 6-5 lead. Danny Stoneberg and Hunter Havice would score later in the period to give the Bolts the 8-5 victory.
Saturday night the Bolts came out with all the momentum as they fired 21 1st period shots at the Thunderbirds. They managed just 1 1st period goal as Luke Noble scored early for the Bolts. Lyle Wilkens would score early in the 2nd for the Bolts to give them a 2 goal lead. The Thunderbirds would answer and evened the score at 2 with Sean Dekramer scoring on the power play and Jesse Totah tying the game. The Thunderbirds responded to the bolts 1st period effort with a 19 shot period of their own to the Bolts 9.
In the 3rd period with the bolts serving a double minor for high sticking Eric Wilson scored on the power play to give the Thunderbirds a 3-2 lead. Late in the period with 3 minutes remaining Lyle Wilkens would tie the game for the Bolts as he received a centering pass from Luke Marsh. From that point on both goalies shut the door and by the end of the overtime period Thunderbirds goalie Stalcup had saved 46 of 49 shots while Bolts goalie Rooney stopped 62 of 65 shots.
The game then proceeded to a shootout which was eventually won by Levi Clemenson on the 6th shooter of the shootout.
Sunday's game would prove to be a test of resolve for both teams as despite having played two great games the nerves were beginning to wear on each team. The thunderbirds would open the scoring with Levi Clemenson scoring to make it a 1-0 contest midway through the 1st period. He would add to his team's lead with 5 seconds remaining in the 1st period to give the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead exiting the first frame of the contest.
The second period would see Clemenson complete a natural hat-trick 5 minutes in as his scored his 3rd goal in a row with no interruptions from any other player on the powerplay. Mason Akers would tally as well for the Thunderbirds in the second period as he beat Declan Rooney to make it 4-0 on the powerplay. A few minutes later after a wicked hit in the neutral zone, Bolts Defenseman Trey Bruggeman dropped the gloves with Brandon Fitzsimmons as the two scrapped the energy seemed to propel the Bolts and although they took a penalty immediately at the end of the 2nd period they were undeterred and changed their strategy for the 3rd period
Bolts Forward and Breckenridge Native Sean Costello finally gave the bolts life 24 seconds in to the 2nd period as he caused a turnover and scored an unassisted shorthanded goal. despite being outshot by the Thunderbirds 42-16 through 2 periods, the Bolts showed life, in the 3rd and finally started to play like they wanted to. Kody Goodwin would make the score 4-2. The bolts would pull rooney, but were unable to score and fell 4-2 to the visiting Thunderbirds
Tag(s): Breckenridge Bolts